by Jessica McKillip
Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall certainly be neither dew nor rain during these years, except by my word.” 1 Kings 17:1
We open our study this week seeing Elijah proclaim to King Ahab that there will be no dew or rain during these years. Of course, it’s a challenge to Ahab and to Baal, the Canaanite god of fertility. The Israelites had begun worshipping Baal believing that Baal was the god with power over rain. However, more importantly, Elijah’s statement before the king is a reminder to the people of Israel that God said, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:4, Deuteronomy 5:7.
God had declared to the people of Israel that even before they entered the Promised land that He would care for the land by providing rain in its season (Deuteronomy 11:8-17). Why then would the people choose to worship an idol? Deuteronomy 11:16 gives us that answer, Moses is warning the people, “beware that your hearts are not easily deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods, and worship them.”
Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word. 1 Kings 18:21
Is there something in your life right now in which you are struggling to trust God? Guard your hearts so that you’re not easily deceived into putting your trust into a lifeless idol. Don’t look to anything or anyone other than God. Don’t hesitate. Follow God.